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Ok, so I've had a few strands of sphagnum moss that have been growing and multiplying in a fish bowl that I found for really cheap. however, there are these tall spindly whispy things that keep growing up from the LFS around them, and I'm not sure what they are. I want to think that they could be immaature sphagnum and just need more time to mature, but I have no clue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
A picture is worth 1,000 words.....
That's not sphagnum, that's some other kind of moss. Try and pull as much out as you can. It will just die and possibly contaminate the sphagnum when it rots.
Also, I bought this sphagnum off of ebay, and am not 100% sure that it is. I think it may have been grown in really poor light because it looks nothing like the stuff Ive been growing and have seen in other people's posts and pictures, and its also kind of brittle where it has dried. Any answers?
this is what I got from ebay:

This is what the sphagnum that I thought it would look like:
If you give it a little time and more light, it should grow how you'd like. Sphagnum moss can handle more light than possibly any vascular plant you grow. Give it as much as possible. If you want it to form a mound, it sometimes helps to break off the capitulum (the "head" of the moss) and place several piece on a moist surface. They should soon grow into a nice mound that you can further propagate.
Av8tor created a helpful tutorial: http://www.bluegrasscarnivores.com/.
That spindly moss you have: get rid of it now!!! It spread very fast and becomes rather invasive, choking even the sphagnum itself occasionally and overgrowing small CP's way easy.
As for the sphagnum off ebay, that's often what sphag looks lie after being messed around with: it gets thin and ugly. Give it enough water and light, and it should bush out fine.